Adoption is a legal process that creates a parent-child relationship. A person who adopts a child is not the biological parent of the child, but rather an individual who has chosen to take on the legal, financial, and emotional responsibilities of raising the child as their own. Throughout Alabama, families have used adoption to grow and to bring loving relationships together between parents and children.
While some adoptions occur through international channels, many adoptions happen domestically. When a child is put up for adoption, the process of matching them with a loving family may be open or closed. This post will discuss the advantages of open and closed adoptions, but readers should understand that their own circumstances should guide their adoption decisions. No part of this post offers legal advice and help on adoption matters may be sought from trusted family law and adoption attorneys.
WHAT IS AN OPEN ADOPTION?
Many adoptions today are open adoptions. An open adoption is one where a child’s biological or birth parents may remain in contact with them and their adoptive parents through the child’s life. Depending on the needs and preferences of the families, open adoptions may result in children seeing their birth parents with regularity and knowing them as they grow.
Open adoptions can be good for some families. They give birth parents a chance to see how the kids they gave up are thriving, and to feel connected to them despite revoking their parental rights. Children can benefit from knowing where they come from, and adoptive parents can also experience benefits from having family histories on their adoptive children from contact with their birth parents.
WHAT IS A CLOSED ADOPTION?
As expected, a closed adoption is the opposite of an open adoption. With a closed adoption, a birth parent may not know to whom their biological child is adopted or where they live. A child may not have access to information on their birth family until they are an adult or ever, and adoptive parents may be unable to find out medical information about their kids without access to their birth parents’ records. Some individuals prefer closed adoptions because they allow for clean breaks between children and their birth parents, but these outcomes will depend on the needs and expectations of individuals.
HOW TO DECIDE ON A FORM OF ADOPTION
Depending on how a person chooses to pursue adoption, they may find that their decision to have an open or closed process is made for them. Different agencies across the country and globe may have different policies on how to address such matters. Questions regarding post-adoption contact between biological and adoptive families are important to ask before committing to an adoption program.
There is a lot to consider when evaluating one’s preferences on an open or closed adoption. While all individuals may have different preferences, there are certain considerations that parties should make before deciding how they wish to proceed. Their adoption attorneys can help them recognize these considerations and work through them before they pursue their own adoptions.